Love of Children Pushes Auburn Native to Pursue Dream of Becoming Pediatrician
Born and raised in Auburn, Auburn University sophomore Hope Harris said she looked into leaving home to attend college, but never found anywhere she loved as much as Auburn.
“It’s been really nice to stay here and stay connected to my family,” she said.
Hope is studying Biomedical Sciences with a Pre-med concentration in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM). She said she finalized her decision to become a doctor after a health internship her senior year in high school. Although it is early in her education, she said she is considering becoming a pediatrician.
“I just really like kids a lot,” Hope said as she talked about her experience as the Assistant Director of Family Relations for the Auburn University Dance Marathon. The Dance Marathon is a yearly benefit for Children’s Hospital. This year’s event, which took place in February, raised more than $500,000 for Children's Hospital at Midtown Medical Center at Columbus Regional Health. Hope has been involved with the benefit since she was a freshman, but with her promotion this year was able to interact more with the children and families that benefit from the marathon.
“This year I got to meet families and build some relationships,” she said. “There have been some stories that are just incredible to hear. It definitely gave me more of a purpose behind why we do what we do and the impact that it’s having on families and the hospital. It has been really cool to see where the money is going and why it’s so important.”
Hope also spends time as a resident advisor, a group fitness instructor for Auburn University Campus Recreation, and works in children’s ministry at Cornerstone Church, all while maintaining a 4.0 in the Honors College. This summer she plans to study abroad with the Auburn University Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures Department to Spain to gain credit for her Spanish minor.
“I’ve always been interested in the Spanish culture,” Hope said. “I’ve seen through shadowing and other opportunities the importance of being able to speak another language in the healthcare field. I think it’s a really cool tool to have and it opens a lot of doors for doing work in other countries as a doctor.”
Hope said she looks forward to the next two years as a COSAM student and to taking advantage of all of the opportunities COSAM has to offer.
“I think the culture of COSAM is pretty encouraging overall and I really feel like it affects the students,” she said. “I always feel like everybody is kind of working together as a team and I have never felt a competitive atmosphere. It has been such a great experience.”